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William Hill Angel of the North Oaks - Newcastle 480m - £3,000

Move Over Evie (t3) leads eventual winner Gello Blissful (t4) around Newcastle's first bend

 

GEELO BLISSFUL landed the odds in the final of the William Hill Angel of the North Oaks final at Newcastle on Thursday - albeit not in the fashion those who took the short prices about the Sheffield bitch after her flying 28.16sec heat win last week expected.

 

Showing great determination and battling qualities to wear down leader Move Over Evie, the August 2016 daughter of Laughil Blake and Ballyrobin Venus hit the front off the last bend and held the strong-running Donation to win by half a length in 28.52sec.

 

In landing the £3,000 decider for trainer Carl Perry and owner Nic Brereton’s Geelo Racing syndicate, Geelo Blissful was defending the kennel’s great record in the bitches-only competition after Geelo Zip’s win in the same event last year.

 

The success delighted trainer Perry, who rates the two-year-old highly, and reports her to have come out of Thursday’s race well. He confirmed she is due to trial at Nottingham on Monday with a view to targeting the upcoming Lowther Stakes there.

 

“I thought she ran some race at Newcastle,” he said. “She’s come out of it in great shape and proved she’s not just an out-and-gone bitch. She has a great will-to-win, and the plan is to have two trials at Nottingham before the Lowther.

 

“We’ll not plan too far ahead with her. Things could depend on a season, given she’s not had one, but we’re delighted where we’re at. She’s still young, quite puppyish, and you’d hope could mature and be stronger after season.”

 

There was not just Scottish success in the feature event at Newcastle (Droopys Trawler), given the Graham Rankin-trained Jaguar Jack swooped in the supporting final of the Newcastle Greyhound Stadium Standard.

 

Pacing up handily, the Shawfield raider hit the front down the far side and pulled clear to win by two and a half lengths from local hope Bramble Reggie in 28.45sec to grab the winner’s purse for owner Tony Armstrong.

 

Rankin said: “Given the short time we’ve had him, this is fantastic. It was only his fifth race in the UK and makes up for the disappointment after the Classic semis at Sunderland. I’m not sure what happened then, but it was disappointing after running so well in the heats.”

 

Fastest in the first round of the William Hill-sponsored event there when beating eventual winner Allowdale Bruno, Jaguar Jack missed the break in the semis, but bounced back with victory in heat and final at Newcastle.

 

The William Hill All England Cup is a target for Jaguar Jack, although he will take his chance in an upcoming Shawfield competition in between now and the Category One event back at the north-east venue in October.

 

Ian Walton, GM at Newcastle, said of the supporting card winners. “They were all great, but I thought Geelo Blissful was an outstanding winner of the Angel of the North - she’s a superstar. Also, Roxholme Hat won what I think was the most competitive sprint this year.

 

“Splitting the William hill Northern Puppy Derby and All England Cup festivals has worked out really well and thank-you to the sponsors and their sponsorship team for making it happen. It’s been fantastic.”